How Failing Showed Me How Strong I Am

The word “failure” has always lingered in my head. It’s always been such a negative word for me, and after I failed at anything, I used to sink into a deep depression. I would stay in bed for weeks, doing nothing because I was afraid of failing again. I felt like my failures radiated off of me, like would know whatever it was that I failed at. I felt like they would take one glance, see my mistakes, and silently laugh at me. 

My anxiety drastically increased, which made me afraid to talk to new people. I was afraid to put myself out there and even leave the house. I felt like I had lost all of my inspiration, motivation and willpower. I no longer had any drive. I didn’t want to do anything because I didn’t want to hear about how it was wrong, how I had failed yet again.

It wouldn’t matter what I failed at: a class, a friendship, or a relationship. My failure would wear me down. I would fixate every single thing that I thought I did wrong. This went on for years, and it is still something that I battle with. Even if I struggle with something completely out of my control, I sometimes mark it as a failure and sink into depression.

It took a long time for me to realize that not everything is a failure and that not every failure is my fault. The times I did fail have become my greatest lessons. Even though life still knocks me down now and then, I can look back, see what went wrong, and use my failures to improve myself later on.

The depression and anxiety that come with each failure hasn’t just evaporated, but I don’t let those feelings get to me as much anymore. Through my failures, I’ve become a stronger person. If everything in my life had run completely smoothly, then I wouldn’t be who I am now: a strong woman. 

If I lose a friend, a relationship doesn’t work out, or I don’t achieve my work or business goals, I can reflect on what happened and use the experience to improve. This process helps me see my failures in a new light. When I now look back at my past, some of my “failures” are almost laughable.

My failures have showed me that not everything in life is meant to work out, and that’s OK. Even though some aspects of my life have not gone my way, that does no make me a failure. I truly believe that if I hadn’t gone through these struggles, if my failures hadn’t led me down better paths, I would not be the strong person I am today.

Overcoming a failure and continuing to move forward takes incredible strength, more than most people realize. You may be your own worst critic, but the version of yourself that you see in the mirror may not be the vision that others see. Your life may not have gone perfectly, but that doesn’t mean that you are a failure.

You’ve made it through your failures for a reason. You have pushed through every mistake so far, and you’ll continue pushing, just like I did. After your “failures,” take some time to look at the bigger picture. You have always been strong enough to make it through, and you always will be.

My failures have made me a better version of myself. My shortcomings have made me stronger and more dedicated than I ever knew I could be. I know they’ll make you stronger, too.

Sarah Dowell

I've always had a passion for writing. I'm an introvert and put things into words on a page better than verbally. I also love writing and reading.

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